Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV)

The verse above from 2 Corinthians seems like a good place to start as a I reflect back on Day 2 of a Walk in Silence.  The words seem so fitting as I seek to get closer to God, but in truth, it's not the words, it's the image I have standing next to him.  Words can't begin to describe that.  But here is what I encountered in two days that can.

I've had a couple of stumbles along the way.  I've blurted something out or entered a conversation without a thought to my vow of silence.  Then...Whammmm.  Upside the head comes the realization that I've spoken out of turn.  The first couple of times, I was angry. Then disappointment.  Then after the third time, I came to the understanding that "it's alright".  "Don't beat yourself up.  And ever since then....the stumbles have been fewer.  Only two on Day 2.

What have I experienced in the way of people's reaction to my silence?  ALOT.  Some have been frustrated with me. "I'm really good at charades", one person said.  "Write it down what you're trying to say". Okay.....a little tolerance, please.  What if my condition was lifelong?  One thing for sure, I'm certainly coming to an appreciation of what people with disabilities go through each and every day.

When I went to the grocery store, I couldn't find a graham cracker crust for an ice cream pie for our oldest son's birthday.  So, I needed to ask someone.  I made a motion to my mouth that I couldn't speak and showed the courtesy person the email my wife sent me about the grocery item.  She was so helpful.  When I walked out of store, I smiled at her....thanking her for the help.  She nodded back.  I wondered if she thought, how sad, he can't talk.

As I reached the parking lot, I encounterd one of our Alpha leaders from Church.  I gave her a big grin and pulled the zippper across my lips.  Her response.  "Oh, you must be in Silent Prayer", she responded.  I nodded yes and looked for a piece of paper to explain further....but couldn't locate one.  Her reaction?  "Have a good day".  Later that afternoon,  I emailed her a further account telling her she must be Holy Spirit Driven, for sure.  She picked up right away, what the Lord was asking me to do!!!

Now for the family life.  My wife is totally supportive.  Perhaps even enjoying my silence.  Remember Dear, I don't think it's everlasting.  Then again, only God knows, right?  Our three boys are baffled, frankly.  They're not sure what to make of the "new" Dad in the house.  The amazing thing is, is that they changed immediately.  They no longer raise their voice....they seem certain to have me understand their questions or comments.  They've slowed down and focused on communication.  Imagine that?  On the other hand, I'm almost immune to argue with them.  I make my point by writing down my thoughts and they're respectful of what I have to say....truly respectful.  Is this much different than the social media craze in our lives?  Much.....and here's why.  Where texting is quick and to the point, rarely are you standing with that person in a discussion.  As I right down a note, I'm right there.  My boys can see in my eyes, in my demeanor and hopefully my heart what I'm trying to tell them.  That's encouraging.

Where has Satan been?  Well, he's been around.  On the first day, I became frustrated with a change of plans to my day.  I had to work things around for a meeting...totally disrupting what I had going on at home.  I was trying to blog, the dog was sick, my son had a birthday coming up and I was thinking about that.  After some email exchanges, the meeting took place and all was well.   Through patience and a willingness to alter the day, Satan didn't win.  Then....I started feeling the effects of a cold coming on.  This is not the time for a cold, I thought.  God, give me strength to ward off this distraction.  I want to be sharp....not feeling drug out from cold medicines.  So far, it's about a 5 on a scale of 10.   

What has God been telling me through these two days?  Be open, John.  Listen to what I'm telling you.  I'm going to change you.  Is that awesome or what?  This morning, on the cusp of Day 3, I wrote a note to my wife and knelt down at her feet so she could read it.  "Please forgive me for all the hurtful words I've said to you in our 22 plus years of marriage".  Kind of start the day off differently.  I know it was emotional for the both of us. 

And that's where I'll finish today.  This morning,  in my small men's group we were talking about LOVE.  In our break out group, I wrote a note asking the question, "can't Love be an unspoken word that we exhibit everyday?"  UNSPOKEN.  Wow, thank you for those thoughts, God.  I didn't have to say a word this morning, but you used me to open the ears of each and every man in the room.

How Powerful is Prayer?  Big Time.

More to come in the remaining days.  I leave you with these thoughts.  Perhaps you can see what God is opening my ears to next.     

"Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense,
   but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.
  A gossip betrays a confidence,
   but a trustworthy person keeps a secret".-Proverbs 11:12-13



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